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pakkmom

Lvstoread

Morgan Hill, CA, US | Member Since 2006

148
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 27 reviews
  • 172 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 10 purchased in 2014
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  • The Disappeared: A Retrieval Artist Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    • Narrated By Jay Snyder
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (421)
    Performance
    (258)
    Story
    (264)

    Retrieval Artists help the lost find their way back home, whether they like it or not. Specialized private detectives, they investigate the most unusual crimes in the galaxy. But Miles Flint isn't a Retrieval Artist. He's just a cop, trying to do his job.

    Phelix_da_Kat says: "Sprint finish.."
    "Caught and Retrieved"
    Overall

    I had for some reason, held off on listening to any of KK Rusch's books and feel like I've been holding out on myself. Well, no more, holding back!
    This was a really interesting book. Rusch has really thought about this idea and developed it so that it sounds plausible. Sort of like witness protection with quite a twist. The alien cultures the she has created sound scary, but also plausible, and I wanted to know more about them. Why do they think the way they do, how did their sense of justice develop, what do their worlds look like, and how do they live? There are just glimpses of these races, a tantalizing taste that piques the curiosity.
    Character development starts of strong and just builds as the story continues. You care about these people, you want them to succeed. Also, the issues that are the heart of the story are frightening and look to be unsolvable. There aren't any nicely packaged solutions that are applied here. Here are imperfect solutions, sort of like real life.
    I also greatly enjoyed Jay Snyder's reading. He has a voice that is easy to listen to, and if you really must know, he sort of "disappears" into the reading. Its as if you aren't really aware that someone else is reading the story to you.
    Excellent read, I am looking forward to my next KK Rusch book!

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Blood Red Road

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Moira Young
    • Narrated By Heather Lind
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (183)
    Performance
    (152)
    Story
    (155)

    Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother, Lugh, is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

    Gena says: "A unique voice that sticks with you"
    "Slow start then it grips you"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This started quite slowly for me, so slowly I actually stopped listening for quite some time. Then one day I started listening again the the story really caught my attention. It may be the pace that the reader, Heather Lind, set was why it took some time for me to become more engaged. Her pacing was very measured and deliberate regardless of how action filled a particular scene might be. Having said that, I enjoyed her reading, enjoyed the different voices she used for each character. She gave a sort of ???country??? lilt to each character, a bit rough, with touches of colloquialisms.
    The story itself is based in a post-apocaliptic world, one that is pretty grim with people scrabbling to survive. The main character is Saba, a tough, hard 18 year girl whose world is ripped apart by the murder of her father and the kidnapping of Lou, her twin brother. She sets off with her 11 year old sister Emmie, to rescue their brother. Of course along the way they run into a number of difficult situations and a number of people, good and bad, who either help them or try to hurt them.
    Author Moira Young does a wonderful job of describing the world Saba inhabits. Bit by bit, new characters join the story and a mystery starts to unfold. Why was Lou kidnapped? Who are the Ton Tons and why do they have so much power? Who is the mysterious king who rules with terror and absolute sway over the people? And who is Jack?
    The story ends complete in and of itself but there are enough lingering questions to let the reader know that there will probably be a second book!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Equal Rites: Discworld #3

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Terry Pratchett
    • Narrated By Celia Imrie
    Overall
    (1170)
    Performance
    (484)
    Story
    (491)

    Lisa L. Hilton says: "Lots of fun"
    "Perhaps a different narrator...."
    Overall

    I love Terry Pratchett???s Discworld books and have quite a few of them, as well as listen to them repeatedly. However, the right narrator can make an enormous difference and so it has proved here. Perhaps I???ve become so accustomed to the voice talents of Nigel Planer and Stephen Briggs on the other Discworld books that listening to Celia Imrie was a great disappointment. She has a pleasant voice, but not enough energy, nor does she seem to pick up the humorous intent inherent in much of Pratchett???s work. While I listened to the whole book, it wasn???t enjoyable or memorable. And I don???t wish to listen to it again. Would love to hear either Nigel Planer or Stephen Briggs read this book. I???d gladly buy it again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Agatha H and the Airship City: Girl Genius #1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Phil Foglio, Kaja Foglio
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (258)
    Performance
    (201)
    Story
    (205)

    The Industrial Revolution has escalated into all-out warfare. Sixteen years have passed since the Heterodyne Boys, benevolent adventurers and inventors, disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Today, Europe is ruled by the Sparks, dynasties of mad scientists ruling over - and terrorizing - the hapless population with their bizarre inventions and unchecked power, while the downtrodden dream of the Heterodynes’ return. At Transylvania Polygnostic University, a pretty, young student named Agatha Clay seems to have nothing but bad luck.

    Amazon Customer says: "Ever wanted visuals while audio book listening?"
    "Great fun!"
    Overall

    This was a terrific story with a really excellent narrator. I had not read any of the Foglio???s works before and wasn???t sure what to expect. I wasn???t disappointed in the least. The world building is well done as is character development. There are a lot of very quirky and downright strange characters and a lot of humor. Something mysterious is happening in this world which is slowly being revealed. Out of curiosity, I went to the Foglio???s website and checked out their ???Girl Genius??? comic upon which this novel is based. While it is well done, my preference is for the novel. I like having more written detail and being able to create the characters and world in my own mind.
    Angela Dawe is a wonderful narrator. I loved the way she created the voices and accents of the different characters. Each one distinct and easily identifiable. I was especially impressed with her male ???voices??? as I find that it is harder for a woman to create male voices convincingly, but Ms. Dawe does so impressively.
    I very much look forward to the next installment in Agatha H???s story!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Rot & Ruin

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Jonathan Maberry
    • Narrated By Brian Hutchison
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (604)
    Performance
    (481)
    Story
    (486)

    Fifteen-year-old Benny Imura lives in a world infested with zombies where, when a kid turns 15, he must get a job to continue receiving food rations. Benny has no interest in the family business of zombie killing, but figures he doesn’t have much of a choice. He’s tried out a bunch of other jobs, and hasn’t found anything he likes. But as Benny starts training with his brother, he learns things about being human that he never expected.

    Amanda says: "Just when you thought it was safe....."
    "Not the usual zombie story"
    Overall

    You won???t think of zombies the same way after this....

    This was an excellent coming of age story, touching without being corny, suspenseful and humorous by turns, a believable tale of post apocalypse survival from the viewpoint of a teenage boy.

    Zombie fare has never been of interest to me, but after reading some of the other reviews I decided to give this book a shot....I???m glad I did.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Waterfall: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Lisa T. Bergren
    • Narrated By Pam Turlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (70)
    Performance
    (54)
    Story
    (55)

    What do you do when your knight in shining armor lives, literally, in a different world? Most American teenagers want a vacation in Italy, but the Betarrini sisters have spent every summer of their lives among the romantic hills with their archaeologist parents. Stuck among the rubble of medieval castles in rural Tuscany on yet another hot, dusty archaeological site, Gabi and Lia are bored out of their minds … until Gabi places her hand atop a handprint in an ancient tomb and finds herself in 14th-century Italy.

    Drew says: "A Great Escape!"
    "Underwhelming"
    Overall

    Cliche and thoroughly underwhelming. When characters behave in ways that ignore laws of cause and effect it detracts from the story. It causes the reader to be unable to suspend belief in a fantastical storyline and that is what happens with this book. It all starts promisingly enough with two teenage sisters Gabi and Lisa, exploring a discovery of their archeologist mother. The girls trigger handprints which send them back in time. Then the story becomes ridiculous. The oldest sister, Gabi, lands in the middle of a medieval battle and what does she do? She raves about the looks of a knight she sees, even when she notes that something might be a little wrong with the battle she is witnessing. The battle turns out to be real, with men dying in front of her. Still she fixates on the looks of the handsome knight. Shallow and clueless does not make for a good book. Narrator Pam Turlow is excellent....if she were reading a different book. The book is written in the first person by Gabi, but Turlow???s voice is too mature for a teenager except when she is doing dialog. Her dialog ???voices??? sound like the teenagers they are supposed to be, but the switch back and forth from ???teen??? and ???mature??? becomes tiresome and a distraction. The story ends on a ???cliffhanger??? but I won???t be looking for it, I just don???t care enough to find out what happens next.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Stormwarden: Book 1 of the Cycle of Fire

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By Janny Wurts
    • Narrated By David Thorpe
    Overall
    (132)
    Performance
    (51)
    Story
    (51)

    For the first time in audio, the Cycle of Fire Trilogy, a stout and epic tale mixing sci-fi and fantasy by acclaimed author Janny Wurts. This classic fantasy trilogy follows three young people struggling to free the Stormwarden, the last of the elemental power-wielding Vaere sorcerers, so that he can battle the humanity-threatening demonkind.

    Katherine says: "It's a great time to be an audiobook reader!"
    "Too much melodrama"
    Overall

    Perhaps it was the narrator, who was difficult to listen to, but it was also the extremely melodramatic characters created by author Janny Wurts. There was either too much drama and overwrought emotion, or so little as to be flat and boring. Explanations as to why characters behaved the way they did, did little to make them more likable or sympathetic. I was relieved when the book ended though the ending would leave one to believe that there is a continuation. Think I???ll be passing on any more books in this series.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • A Discovery of Witches

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Deborah Harkness
    • Narrated By Jennifer Ikeda
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8645)
    Performance
    (6214)
    Story
    (6250)

    Deep in the stacks of Oxford's Bodleian Library, young scholar Diana Bishop unwittingly calls up a bewitched alchemical manuscript in the course of her research. Descended from an old and distinguished line of witches, Diana wants nothing to do with sorcery; so after a furtive glance and a few notes, she banishes the book to the stacks. But her discovery sets a fantastical underworld stirring, and a horde of daemons, witches, and vampires soon descends upon the library.

    Barbara says: "A feast for the mind and imagination"
    "Hmmm, needs...work..."
    Overall

    Witches, vampires, demons, did we forget anything? Oh yes, a few ghosts and let's not forget the humans. Shouldn't there be some werewolves but oddly enough, there aren't any. There is an interesting plot, a mysterious alchemical manuscript, an old unsolved murder and finally the "hero" and "heroine". However, this is the first time that I've listened to a book and found the plot to be more interesting than the main characters. And the plot is what kept me going through the entire 24 hours and 2 minutes.
    We first meet Diana Bishop, scholar, historian, emotionally stunted witch in the Bodleian Library and are quickly introduced to Matthew Clairmont, tall, dark, handsome stranger, no wait...vampire. Without much ado, Diana and Matthew become attracted to each other though why isn't at all clear. Neither character displays much by way of personality other than a propensity on Diana's part to be insipid, insecure and irrational. Matthew on the other hand, is autocratic, demanding and superior. And hearing him call Diana "mon coeur" over and over becomes positively nauseating. Both characters seem to have no conversation other than to make silly demands of each other, or issuing ultimatums. Buy the end of the book I was heartily sick of Diana and Matthew. They had become caricatures, one dimensional, boring and unsympathetic. And I really don't much care what happens to them.
    Reader Jennifer Ikeda does an adequate job, though some of her voices for the different characters start to grate after awhile. It is perhaps more an indication of the character development (or lack thereof) that affects the reading.
    There is promise to author Deborah Harkness' writing, otherwise I wouldn't have been able to finish A Discovery of Witches. Hopefully she'll continue to grow as an author and write a really terrific next book.

    49 of 58 people found this review helpful
  • Slice of Cherry

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Dia Reeves
    • Narrated By Suzy Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    Kit and Fancy Cordelle are sisters of the best kind: best friends, best confidantes, and best accomplices. The daughters of the infamous Bonesaw Killer, Kit and Fancy are used to feeling like outsiders, and that's just the way they like it. But in Portero, where the weird and wild run rampant, the Cordelle sisters are hardly the oddest or most dangerous creatures around. It's no surprise when Kit and Fancy start to give in to their deepest desire: the desire to kill.

    pakkmom says: "Surreal, riveting tale"
    "Surreal, riveting tale"
    Overall

    What a surreal story, but a fascinating one. Dia Reeves has written this book for teens but adults will find it interesting too. Enter the strange and twisted landscape of Portero and meet the teenage daughters of a serial killer, Kit and Fancy. The world Kit and Fancy live in is revealed piece by piece, and a spooky one it is. The town populace take all the strange happenings in their town as normal, such as rampaging monsters, plants that grow only where a body is buried, strange beasts in the nearby forbidding forest and a tree that grants wishes. Kit and Fancy have to deal with being shunned due to their father having killed so many people. They also have to deal with their own issues of growing up.
    The reader, Suzy Jackson, is very good, though I almost had a difficult time with her voice. Oddly, she didn't "sound" quite right for this book. I really like her vocal characterizations, but for me, her voice wasn't the best fit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Key to Rondo

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Emily Rodda
    • Narrated By Edwina Wren
    Overall
    (18)
    Performance
    (10)
    Story
    (10)

    The old music box has been handed down through Leo's family for hundreds of years. An astounding secret is hidden beneath its gleaming black lid. Now it is Leo's music box, and although he respects the rules, his cousin Mimi Langlander does not. When the rules are broken, Leo's life is changed forever as he and Mimi plunge together into a thrilling quest in the fantastic world of Rondo.

    pakkmom says: "Charming and well written story"
    "Charming and well written story"
    Overall

    Author Emily Rodda has created a charmingly engrossing tale of two cousins who enter the music box world of Rondo. There, the cousins Leo and Mimi, meet a cast of familiar fairy tale characters. The reader (or listener in this case) will find humorous and somewhat different perspectives on the lives of some of these characters. For instance, we are introduced to Bertha, a rather vain and seemingly shallow pig, who is a fierce and successful wolf fighter. How about the gingerbread men called "dots", obnoxious pests that infest cellars and dark places. A clever and funny character is the Hidey Hole, who you just have to meet to understand. And then there is the beautiful and evil Blue Queen with a magic mirror who has enchanted the beautiful daughter she hates. Leo and Mimi who don't like each other, end up being thrust into an adventure which will teach them some things about themselves and each other. They learn to get along with one another, learn the extent of their own courage and perseverance, and discover that things aren't always as they first seem. We are treated to a host of revelations about the different characters along the way which keeps the story moving and interest from waning.
    Edwina Wren does an excellent job of narration. The different voices she uses for each character is quite impressive, so much so that it seems that there are numerous speakers rather than just one.
    I look forward to hearing the next installment on stories from Rondo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Starclimber

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Kenneth Oppel
    • Narrated By David Kelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (73)
    Performance
    (37)
    Story
    (38)

    Matt Cruse is back in the phenomenal third volume in Kenneth Oppel's bestselling, award-winning series - and this time he's heading for outer space. Airborn and Skybreaker, the first two books in the series, have been among our best-selling and most-honored titles, and we think you'll find this one just as thrilling - if not more so. Featuring an international cast of larger-than-life characters, this is adventure fiction at its finest.

    pakkmom says: "A bit disappointing"
    "A bit disappointing"
    Overall

    As the third book of this series, Starclimber has a lot to live up to. Oppel has done a great job in developing an interesting and truly original storyline. Its quite believable in a fantastical sort of way. As long as he is writing about the Starclimber, the problems that occur to the ship and the people on board and the solutions to the life threatening dilemmas, the writing is crisp, clear and exciting. Its the development of Matt and Kate which is problematic. Since the story arc has covered several years, there should be some sign of Matt and Kate maturing and having learned from their experiences and mistakes. Instead, its as if Oppel wasn't sure how to develop their characters and had them behave as rather immature and selfish teenagers. Kate's character is so willful and self-centered that it is difficult to be sympathetic or to even like her. Matt's character behaves so jealously and is so insecure that he doesn't seem to be the same person we've seen in the previous two books. Their interaction with each other does not bode well for a long term relationship as it is full mistrust, selfishness and immaturity. Its hard to believe that they really care for each other.
    The series seems to have come to end in this book as there is closure on a number of story lines. Perhaps Oppel will produce more, but if he does want to continue with the Matt and Kate characters, he'll need to spend more time developing them.
    The voice actors portraying the various characters are all excellent as in the previous productions. Well, the scots character early in the book was rather grating and sound levels with his voice were very loud and unnecessarily startling and explosive. However, overall, this series is one of the best I've ever listened to and one I can recommend.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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